| 21.9°C Belfast

Fifteen staff at NHS trust test positive for Covid-19

The staff are now isolating.

Close

Coronavirus testing has been ramped up since the start of the outbreak (Victoria Jones/PA)

Coronavirus testing has been ramped up since the start of the outbreak (Victoria Jones/PA)

Coronavirus testing has been ramped up since the start of the outbreak (Victoria Jones/PA)

Fifteen staff at a large NHS trust have tested positive for coronavirus.

East Kent Hospitals tested 9,000 members of staff over five days last week and the results were announced on Tuesday.

Kent has been under the spotlight after the region recorded some of the highest Covid-19 mortality rates in England last month.

The 15 staff who tested positive are isolating in line with national guidance, the trust said.

Chief medical officer Dr Rebecca Martin said: “We know that while many people experience mild – or even no – symptoms of Covid-19, they have the potential to carry and pass on the virus without knowing it.

It is important that our patients and staff have confidence that we are doing all we can to keep them, and those close to them, safeDr Rebecca Martin, East Kent Hospitals NHS trust

“Testing staff means we can be sure no member of staff who may be carrying the virus without knowing it is working in our hospitals.”

East Kent Hospitals runs three acute hospitals and serves a local population of around 759,000 people.

Dr Martin added: “It is important that our patients and staff have confidence that we are doing all we can to keep them, and those close to them, safe while they are in our care whether they are being treated for Covid-19 or using other hospital services.

“Patients can help minimise transmission of Covid-19 by following the advice to wear a face covering, regularly clean their hands, maintain social distancing where they can and following the instructions in the hospitals.”

PA